This month we meet Colin Wall, active travel cycling coordinator at Thurrock Council. Colin loves to cycle and uses his enthusiasm for all things active to help people change the way they travel.
- When did you start your current role and where had you worked before?
I started my current role as Active Travel Cycling Coordinator at Thurrock Council in the middle of June this year. I also have my own coaching consultancy, Colin Wall Coaching, which I still run alongside this role. In my consultancy role, I work with individuals, teams and organisations to improve performance and leadership, working across the corporate sector and professional sport creating bespoke coaching programmes tailored to my client’s needs.
- Why did you want to work in active travel?
I feel it’s a big area to help people be healthier, both physically and mentally, plus it helps the environment and improves the areas we live in. Wellness and wellbeing is a big part of the coaching work that I do, so the two go hand in hand for me.
- What’s the best thing about your job?
Helping people see that they are in control of their choices and showing them that they always have options and opportunities. Most of what I do, in both my roles, is to look at people’s mind set and help them achieve great things or alter their perspectives. It’s easy to focus on the negatives as that’s how we are wired as humans, but this can restrict us achieving our desired goals. To unlock and get people to understand they can choose their reactions and behaviours in everything we do is a very powerful and rewarding part of my job.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on developing a cycle hub in Tilbury, plus I’m working with a couple of local businesses, looking at how they can make their employees aware of active travel options and improve their facilities to promote this. The reactions from the businesses I have spoken to is really positive and most are interested in the improvement to the wellbeing of their staff, as well as improving the issues of limited parking at their place of work.
- Tell us about an event that altered the course of your life/and career…
I used to be a professional footballer, but had a bad back injury, which cut that career short and forced me to explore other options.
- The person who has influenced you the most is…
My parents who have worked hard and supported me with everything I’ve done. My wife for being my rock, running her own successful business and bringing up our 3 children to be fantastic adults (only a little bit biased). And my children for inspiring me daily to work hard and make them proud and happy.
- Work life balance – what leisure activity you enjoy the most?
Cycling obviously, and walking the dogs. I have 4 dogs. Billy (spaniel), Paddy (jack Russell cross), Albert (black Labrador) and Sydney (sausage dog), plus my wife’s horse Alfie keep us busy.
- Something about you people would find surprising…
I work with professional sports people to help the transition out of sport into the bigger world. They suffer the same as anyone in transition – from anxiety, denial, frustration, depression and a loss of identity and structure. Helping people through this and into a positive place is very rewarding.
- What’s your greatest fear?
- Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Sir Richard Branson – to try and learn from him as I love his outlook on life and how he lives it. Peter Kay – because he makes me laugh and laughing is the best way to relax.
- What would your super power be?
- What’s your favourite/least favourite food?
Love all food, everything, I haven’t got a huge sweet tooth, but would still eat it if it was there
- What’s the worst job you ever had?
Not had a bad one so far, been very lucky
- What thing would improve the quality of your life?
More time with my family. This could be going out for the day, holidaying with them or just sitting down for a meal. My children are all grown up now so it’s very rare for us all to be together at the same time.
- What’s coming next for you?
Lots of engagement projects through the cycling role and working internationally with my coaching work.